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Jamaica is entering the emerging industry of Deep Seabed Mining (DSM) through its sponsorship of Blue Minerals Jamaica Limited (BMJ), a locally registered company.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has disclosed that Cabinet has given approval for this “progressive and visionary step”, which will see Jamaica joining a select group of 20 countries, including the UK, Germany, China, Korea, India and Belgium, in deep seabed mining activities.
It said it is also a significant move for Jamaica which enters this industry on the heels of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) celebrating 25 years of exemplary service.
The Government and Blue Minerals Jamaica Limited will be filing an application with the ISA for an exploration license for polymetallic nodules in international waters.
Blue Minerals Jamaica CEO, Peter Jantzen, who presented the DSM case to the government in 2017, said the process of working with the Government has been open and extremely professional.
“It has shown Jamaica to be a visionary and growth-orientation country which is encouraging innovative investment and development. We look forward to growing the Blue Minerals Jamaica business and contributing to the economic growth and development of Jamaica,” he said.
Blue Minerals Jamaica’s activities are focused on the collection of polymetallic nodules containing high concentrations of nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese. Nodules lie on the surface of the seabed and are harvested by a collector through hydraulic suction.
The process of seeking approval for entry into the DSM industry was a multi Ministry/Agency effort piloted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, advised by the Attorney General’s Office and supported by the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Mike Henry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that deep seabed mining is essential to future sustainable global growth and as a major contributor to future demand for minerals which are required for global electrification, such as electric cars and electric infrastructure.